Hey Siri, why don’t you fix my car Bluetooth connection with iOS 8.3? Apple Watch out

iremoteapplewatchAs our readers know all too well, there are still Bluetooth issues with iOS 8.2 and in-car infotainment systems. Apple may have its own answer to car iPhone problems – use Siri to activate your iPhone speakerphone in iOS 8.3 or maybe use an Apple Watch instead. iOS 8.3 is closely connected to the Apple Watch. Apple must want as many apps as possible for the Apple Watch because it worked with BMW to produce the i Remote app.

Hey Siri Feature Updated in iOS 8.3

When iOS 8.0 was launched it added the feature “Hey Siri” to make a phone call, the call did not launch with the speakerphone when connected to a charger. With iOS 8.3 beta 4, when a user asks Siri to make a phone call via the speakerphone, the call will actually be made on speakerphone. The caller says “Hey Siri call Jane on speaker,” and the call is connected through the speakerphone, not the earpiece as before.

We would prefer “Hey Siri fix my Bluetooth connection with car” because the speakerphone on an iPhone is not even close to the sound quality of Bluetooth connection through the car’s speakers especially when there is traffic or car noise.

iOS 8.3 previous beta versions offered wireless connections of CarPlay in-car systems which disappeared in iOS 8.3 version 4.

We are hoping that iOS 8.3 will resolve some more issues than Siri. The iOS 8.2 update resolved an issue that could prevent call audio from routing to car speakers while using Siri Eyes Free and fixed a Bluetooth calling issue where no audio is heard until the call is answered.

We have learned that some problems with Mazda Bluetooth connections have been fixed with iOS 8.2.

Time to Reset Your Car and Apple Watch?

Previously, we suggested the nuke-it fix that sometimes help re-pair Bluetooth connections and in-car systems. One of our readers used the “mini nuke” fix. He reset all network settings on the iPhone, changed the name of the iPhone and did a reset. On his 2005 BMW 330, he disconnected the negative terminal on the battery for about 10 seconds. He’s not sure what fixed things but Bluetooth connections worked again.

However we’ll still getting reports of problems with 2014 Audi Q5, 2015 Nissan Leaf, Honda Accord (Acura TSX) 2010, 2013 Ford F150, 2015 BMW 6 series gran coupe, 2012 KIA Sportage, 2015 Honda Odyssey, 2012 Camry, Honda Civic 2012, 2012 Honda CR-V, Kia Optima 2014, 2015 Ford Fusion, 2014 Chevy Impala, 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan, 2014 Volkswagen Golf, 2014 VW Passat, 2012 Hyundai Elantra, 2013 Camaro ZL1, Toyota Rav 4 2013,  2014 Mazda3 and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Drivers have to keep pairing their iPhone with the Ford C-Max 2013 and Ford Explorer. Other issues reported are loss of contact synching with an Audi A4 with music playing. While some other report problems with texts and other advanced features.

The iOS 8.3 update is expected to arrive with the Apple Watch launch on April 24. It is currently is in beta testing. Apple reportedly is taking more time on beta testing to avoid problems.

It appears that Apple prefers to push its own products such as CarPlay rather than work with the automakers and millions of people who already have in-car Bluetooth systems. Or maybe Apple will push the Apple Watch as a solution.

Engineers from BMW’s research center in Palo Alto worked with Apple to adapt the iPhone i Remote app the BMW i3 for the Apple Watch. Dave Buchko, a BMW spokesman says the app will be available to download when the Apple Watch is released on April 24.

The i Remote Apple Watch will allow the wearer to open the doors, show battery charge, flash headlights, honk the horn and get directions to the BMW i3.

The Apple Watch connects to the iPhone through Wi-Fi (with Air Drop) or Bluetooth, therefore the Apple Watch wearer could be further away from the iPhone than a few Bluetooth feet. The Apple Watch along with health apps works as a notifier of iPhone messages as well as phone extension.

What we find it ironic, that a BMW i3 owner could shell out $350 for an Apple Watch to open the doors and then once inside the car not be able to call friends or business associates with the built-in Bluetooth speaker system.

We imagine the BMW owner taping the Apple Watch to say “Hey Siri, take your iPhone 6 and _________________________”

You may fill in the blank….

If you have updated to iOS 8.2 for iPhone 5/5S/5c 6-6+ and it fixed or fried your Bluetooth issues with your in-car infotainment system, please let us know in the comments below, be sure to note your make, model and year of your vehicle. We also welcome any solutions you have found worked with your car.

One commenter noted that you should delete all devices off your iPhone before connecting to the car infotainment system.

We have comments from readers that there  are still Bluetooth problems reported with BMW, Audi, Acura, MINI, GM(Chevy, GMC, Cadillac, Buick), Honda, Kia, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Lexus, Fiat, Hyundai, Chrysler, Acura, Mazda and more.

Previously, after talking to many automakers we asked Why Bluetooth iOS 8-8.1 & iPhone 6-6+ issues persist in cars?  It seemed like the 8.1 update helped with a few new model cars. Here is a summary of Bluetooth issues and fixes and checkout the most popular nuke-it fixes.

You may sign up for a newsletter to keep informed if any one finds a cure for the iOS 8 Bluetooth Blues. We will only send you an email when we have more information.

13 thoughts on “Hey Siri, why don’t you fix my car Bluetooth connection with iOS 8.3? Apple Watch out”

  1. I have 2013 120d M SportX drive, with aux and usb connections in the centre console. I have a iphone 5 with ios 8.2 and iphone 5 with ios 9 , a iphone 5s and a 6 6s running 9.2. Guess what bluetooth to idrive (telephone) works fine contacts loaded calls come through loud and clear.

    The bug-bare from em USB Not Supported, using BMw’s Y cable or apples lightning connector.
    There is no software/firmware update from vehicle to the unknown ( to dealer and BMW UK) firmware that is currently installed.

    I have searched high and low across the web for something similar – it appears that this software is newer than the options on the BMW website this i believe is not an apple issue.

    I have been told repeatedly than only iphone 5 with 8.2 is supported by the USB this clearly isn’t true. I even tried my 80gb ipod classic ‘nada’ nine, non, no .

    The software support for external devices is :
    for bluetooth TE-008.008.000
    for multimedia it is : ME-008.008.000

    The bluetooth SW version: TE-008.008.000-008.008

    The usb version available for my vehicle. Using my vehicle id is as follows:
    UPD03007 (Latest Version, 6.13 MB)
    Update for vehicles with production date from July 2011 to June 2013

    on checking further here bluetooth compatibility check:

    I input my last 7 digits of my chassis and i am offered 5 options 4 of which look like new versions but not the same as mine, so i choose ” other version number” the response…
    …The version number entered does not exist.

    anyone else had this…?

    • Unfortunately, the automakers don’t usually get the updates before iPhone owners do. The good news is it seems that at least you have some iPhones that do work…..

  2. Recently 4s Bluetooth stopped answering calls in my 2013 Avalanche. Have 9.1 in phone. Sometimes will answer. Usually not

  3. iOS 8.3 has killed “hey Siri” calls with Bluetooth

    Used to work perfect in my 2013 F150, now defaults to a speakerphone call and to get the car audio speakers you have to manually switch

    Can still get calls over car audio by asking through ford sync but that’s a much clunkier system….

  4. NOT so good when I am on my Bluetooth headset AT HOME and I say “Hey Siri – call John Smith” and it comes back with “Calling John Smith on speakerphone” and disconnects my Bluetooth. I am getting this all the time…even though I have tried 3 different Bluetooth headsets. I’ve also cleared out ALL bluetooth connections and reconnected to only 1. Even if not using the “Hey Siri…” feature. Suddenly, the call connects and I can’t hear them and they can’t hear me cause iPhone 6 and Siri dumped my Bluetooth connection. No longer hands free….I got to stumble to override the connection choice. Any solutions?

  5. If you are using any BMW/Benz variants, you can do the following steps to play via Bluetooth using your iPhones,

    1] Go to the connected device list and delete the iPhone from the list in your car.
    2] Now in your phone go to Settings -> Bluetooth, and in the list of devices paired in the phone find the ID of the car, tap on the “i” on the right of the ID(Name) of the car. And forget the device.
    3] Perform a complete ignition OFF of the car. If needed restart the iPhone.
    4] After the Ignition ON. Pair the phone once again.

    This steps should make the phone connect once again to the car.

  6. This was solved with 8.3 for me:
    On my iPhone 5s I’ve been having problems with dialing a call using Siri when connected to the car Bluetooth. For example, I say: “Call my wife” and the call starts, but then immediately says “Disconnected” and the call drops. If I manually dial, its fine, and the audio comes through the speakers as normal. If I use Siri while not connected to the Bluetooth, its fine too. It was the combo of Siri and Bluetooth that wasnt working. Its been like that since a few firmware updates ago – maybe the later 7.x firmware…

    But, finally with 8.3, its fixed!

  7. Our 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited won’t connect with my iPhone 6 with iOS 8.2. It says “Connection Error” constantly. I have informed Hyundai and Apple but still no firmware update. I hope 8.3 will fix the issue. Any other ideas?

  8. My problem with initially iOS 8.2 then subsequently 8.3 is that before both updates iOS 8.1 worked well with my 2015 F-150 System. Now i can’t pair my iPhone 6 Plus with my Ford or my wifes 2013 Lexus which while traveling we can’t get addresses needed to use for Nav system from iPhone contacts. If it isn’t fixed soon, i’m going back to Android.

  9. I have a 2005 Acura RDX. Once I updated from my iphone 5 to 6 with new OS, my incoming calls using SIRI hands free now just shows all numbers on the dash display as unknown instead of showing the name. I have tried all the updates up through 8.3 and it does not fix this problem. I have worked with Apple Support including their car support team, and NADA! Anyone having this same issue that can furnish any help.

  10. My VW Jetta 2010 won’t pair with my iPhone 5 ios 8.2. Such a disappointment. I’m lost without my favorite BBC and other podcasts. Do we have to wait a month for 8.3? Can we be sure that will be the cure? Unfortunately, not everyone can upgrade her/his car.

    • It is not clear if 8.3 will help with your Bluetooth issues. Each update seems to help a few in-car Bluetooth or USB connections. Clearing out all previous settings and the various “nuke-it” fixes seem to be the best help.

  11. My wifes BMW 428i 2014 now (finally) wants to play nice with her iPhone 6 afer upgrading both the car and the iPhone to the latest version. As in 8.2 in the phone and unknown in the car. Now both phone calls and streaming Spotify works. She’s happy!

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